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Refinishing a clawfoot tub

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by snewman, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. snewman

    snewman Songster

    Feb 22, 2007
    Belleville, WI
    Does anyone know how to refinish an old cast-iron clawfoot tub? I have one and it is destined to go into our new bathroom renovation, but it is definitely in need of refinishing. Some friends of ours had one done but it was really expensive. We are pretty handy and do-it-yourself, so could probably handle it if we knew what the steps were. Any advice would be appreciated!

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    We had a similar situation and concluded you either pay a LOT or throw it away.
  3. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
  4. Raen

    Raen Songster

    Nov 3, 2010
    How much use will it see? If you plan on using it much, this is not a DIY project, and probably not worth it to have it professionally done, either. Better to get one that is in good condition. I've never heard a single instance of a refinished tub in a high-use area that wasn't peeling and looking awful within a year. (I did a fair amount of research on this a few years ago.) Sorry. [​IMG]
  5. babylady4

    babylady4 Mother Goose

    Mar 30, 2009
    Central WI
    If you are talking just the outside (not the enamel) you can DIY. I refinished mine. There is a eco friendly paint stripper on the market that cleans up with water- PERFECT for a gentle job like this! I used a product like that on my tub, when all the paint was removed I just gave it a good rinse with the hose. The next step to prevent rust on the tub is to coat it LIBERALLY with Rust-Oleum Stops Rust primer (smells like fish oil). Then finish with whatever paint color you choose, I used a High Gloss black on mine and painted the feet silver (then antiqued them).

    If you need the enamel re-done, it is easier and cheaper to find another tub with a good finish.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  6. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    If you really want to keep that tub and want it refinished, best bet is to take it to the professional. It is not for a DIYer.

    My parents had one in the old house in Arrowsmith and it did set them a pretty penny but it wore well with daily baths. Consider it as an investiment. Some appraisers would give you the full or 80 percent of the value if and when you sell your house.

    Or take it outside and finish it yourself with Rusteoleum and use it for a lily pond tub or koi pond or planter.
  7. babylady4

    babylady4 Mother Goose

    Mar 30, 2009
    Central WI
    This really depends on what needs to be refinished, the inside of the tub or the outside.

    The outside is an easy DIY project; there is a ton of info out there to help you out. I used the High Gloss paint so the water would just roll right off and not be an issue.

    The inside is best for the pros. I think Kohler will do it, but this requires the whole tub to be sandblasted and re-enamled and then baked in a kiln (I don't think many people have a home kiln that size).

    If you are going to turn it into a koi pond why bother working on it at all? Just let it patina naturally.

  8. natrgatr

    natrgatr Chirping

    May 24, 2009
    Columbia City, IN
    I used the two-part epoxy finish for the inside, and regular latex for the outside after stripping the outside, then cleaning it thoroughly. Looks great! Lots of hard work though.
  9. crazy goose lover

    crazy goose lover Chirping

    May 17, 2010
    Athens Illinois
    I bought a special paint at Lowes made for that purpose. You chemically clean the tub, wait a set amount of time, put on the first coat and let it dry for 12 hours, sand down any rough spots and give it a second coat. An all day project but not terrible. Mine lasted 8 years before it started to peel and needed to be done again. It gets used multiple times each day. I think 8 years was a good run.
  10. SillyChicken

    SillyChicken Crowing

    Jan 12, 2010
    Unfortunatly, the refinishing paint for covering the enamel won't last.

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